RUMFORD — More than one skier rode the chairlift up Black Mountain on Friday, took in an intimidating slalom course made icy by early morning rain and plunging temperatures, and turned in their bib rather than attempting to survive a steep and perilous path around red and blue gates.

“You can always tell who sharpened their skis on a day like this,” Freeport Alpine coach Phil Wagner said.

Originally scheduled for one run in the morning and another in the afternoon, Friday’s slalom start was delayed for an hour and then shortened to one run for each gender. The delay didn’t affect the Mt. Blue girls, who extended their already commanding lead from Thursday’s giant slalom to easily outdistance runner-up Freeport/Brunswick by 108 points, with Windham another eight behind in third place.

Sadie McDonough of Mt. Blue flies through the gates Friday morning during the Class A State Championship slalom race at Black Mountain in Rumford. She finished fifth. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Senior Sadie McDonough, junior Vivian Cormier and sophomore Katie Yeaton placed fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, for the Cougars, and junior Molly Kearing completed the scoring at 18th.

Also the 2020 state champion, Mt. Blue is the first school to repeat among Class A girls since Falmouth won back-to-back titles in 2015-16.

The Freeport boys embraced the challenges of the day and leapfrogged two teams to earn the school’s first Class A Alpine state championship, ending a string of four consecutive titles by Falmouth.


The Falcons entered Friday’s slalom trailing Falmouth/Waynflete by 18 points and Mt. Blue by two following Thursday’s giant slalom races, held in balmy temperatures and forgiving snow.

Junior Bobby Strong (seventh), freshman Ansel Goode (ninth), sophomore Jack Gilbert (13th) and freshman Elias Burrill (18th) came through to give Freeport an eight-point cushion over second-place Mt. Blue, with Falmouth fading to third, another 13 points behind.

“They all did great,” Wagner said. “It was a huge difference from (Thursday), obviously, and then from the girls (slalom) to the boys. The morning was wet and squishy for the girls and it was firm and fast for the boys.”

Individually, seniors Sarah Hare of Windham and Andrew Christie of Falmouth earned slalom titles.

Only 60 of the 100 girls scheduled to race actually completed the course Friday. Eleven skied off, 23 were disqualified and six never got started. For the boys, only 67 of 99 scheduled starters successfully negotiated every gate.

“It was amazing how fast the conditions were changing,” said Mt. Blue coach Mark Cyr. “As the event progressed, there were potholes, there was glacier ice, so there was very inconsistent surface for the kids. Our key today was communication.”


With Cyr stationed halfway down the hill and a Mt. Blue assistant outside the finishing corral, updates were radioed up to the next of the team’s six skiers.

“So when they came down, they knew exactly what their strategy was going to be,” Cyr said, “where they were going to push the envelope and where they were going to be conservative.”

Hare, who finished sixth in giant slalom (an event she won as a sophomore), clocked in at 48.94 seconds after being the second skier on course and first across the finish line.

“When the course gets rougher, you have to be a little more conservative with how hard you’re going,” Hare said. “So going second, I could attack it more. It was easier to be more aggressive than if I had gone (later).”

Falmouth junior Celie Geci was second in 49.61 after placing third in giant slalom. Oxford Hills senior Lizzy Dieterich was third in 50.06.

Marshwood sophomore Hadley Prewitt, the giant slalom champion, was forced to hike after tipping a gate and having her ski pop off. She wound up 43rd.


Andrew Christie, the boys giant slalom champion, won the slalom by half a second over Mt. Blue’s Josh Smith in 43.84. Tim Teguis of Kennebunk was third in 45.56.

“I used to be really bad at skiing ice,” Christie said. “But it’s just mindset. You can’t ski scared. You have to be aggressive. You just have to go for it.”

Strong wind gusts added another element, sending equipment skidding across the trail and blowing fencing out of the snow.

“I got lucky, there weren’t any crazy gusts when I went,” said Geci, the girls runner-up. “But I was watching one of my friends (come down) and it was blowing like crazy. The gates were on the ground when she was going. I felt bad.”

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